Comic Reviews: The Return Of The Joker!
Detective Comics #880
The stellar run by Scott Snyder continues, and this time, Jock joins him on art duty in a tale that gives us Snyder’s dark spin on the greatest villain in comics, The Joker. Snyder’s script focuses on Comissioner Gordon, who after learning that the Joker has escaped (yet again), calls his estranged wife to ensure that she is safe. However, while on the phone, she is attacked, and Gordon finds her body with that sickeningly wide grin on it. The Joker is back, and Gordon’s family is on his hit list.
Or are they? Snyder and Jock expertly show us the differences between the Bruce and Dick Batman, as Dick goes after Joker, immediately agreeing with Gordon’s belief that his family is in danger once again. Dick follows the clues and hunches he’s given, and finds The Joker in the catacombs under Gotham cathedral. GrayBat starts his attack, and we get some fantastic interactions between the two adversaries, especially when Joker mentions that this Batman isn’t “his bat”. Joker also keeps pleading his innocence with Dick, telling him that he’s waiting for “his Bat” to return. What happens next is one of the best cliffhangers in recent memory, and has me salivating for the next issue.
If it sounds like I’m a broken record, I’m sorry, but I’m saying it again: Scott Snyder is killing it on Detective Comics. It’s so good that it will probably be one of those collections that you give to people to read who want to get into comics. Jock’s art once again is phenomenal, and once we get into the Gotham catacombs, he shifts his style, giving it a very creepy feeling. His visual for The Joker is one of the most disturbing I’ve seen of the character, and I’ve seen a lot. This issue is a must buy regardless of if you’ve been following Snyder’s run (which you SHOULD be), as it can stand on its own. Seriously, buy this.
Joe Hill’s The Cape #1 (of 4)
The Cape is a follow-up miniseries to the fantastic one-shot comic based on author Joe Hill’s short story, and should NOT be confused with the terrible NBC show. Released last year, the Eisner-nominated story followed Eric, a slacker who after getting dumped by his girlfriend, finds his cape that he played with as a child. Except this cape allows him to fly, and unlike many of the heroes we read in our funnybooks, Eric isn’t a nice guy.
Writer Jason Ciaramella takes Hill’s story and expands on it, showing us the aftermath of Eric’s actions from the one-shot (which is probably still available at your local comic shop), and he sets up some great moments. Zach Howard handles the art duties, and his work really captures the grittiness and darkness of the story. While I love reading about superheroes, sometimes it’s refreshing to read a story about a very, very bad person, which is why I’m sticking with The Cape.